It’s interesting that Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life is coming out in the fall instead of May or June. While this book would make a great gift for a recent graduate, it would also be a good read at the beginning of senior year, or any other time of transition. Anyone who practices the lessons put forth here has a lot to look forward to.
Enlarging on a popular class they teach at Stanford, professors and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs Bill Burnett and Dave Evans use principles of design, from brainstorming to prototyping, and adapt them into a way of reconsidering and then reshaping your life.
The authors make job-hunting their primary focus but emphasize that this process can be applied to any issue. Sometimes it’s a matter of reframing a problem to open up more potential solutions, while in other situations, a closer look may reveal that you’re tackling a problem that’s not actionable. If that’s the case, fear not: The authors have a simple hack, which is to accept it and move on to the parts you can act on. A series of self-evaluation exercises includes looking closely at four life categories (health, work, play and love) before designing life prototypes and field-testing them.
Some of this may be familiar to fans of What Color Is Your Parachute? or even The Secret, but Burnett and Evans bring a fresh and practical design perspective to their career advice. As the authors note, “[I]t’s impossible to predict the future. And the corollary to that thought is: once you design something, it changes the future that is possible.” This hands-on guide will get you started, but what happens next is entirely up to you.